To Fear Is Human, To Love Divine | March 13, 2020
Three Things This Week
1. You Asked, We Delivered: Audio!
What it is: Don’t have time to read this email every week? We’ve got you covered with our brand new podcast!
Why it’ll save you time: You can now listen to The Culture Translator every Friday via podcast. In about 5 minutes, you can hear about what’s going on in your teen’s world each week, then either read the show notes or simply find this email in your inbox if you’d like to dig deeper into a topic by checking out the links. The Culture Translator Podcast is now available on Apple Podcasts here, on Spotify here, and coming soon to Google Play (we’ll share the link next week). Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss anything, and share it with your friends!
2. Silly Billie?
What it is: To kick off her world tour, Billie Eilish shed layers of clothing on screen while asking questions about what gives her value and worth as a woman.
Why it should get us talking: The 18-year-old singer is known for wearing baggy clothes to maintain mystery and keep others from objectifying or judging her. Her words in the video (transcript here) were met with thunderous applause and have gone viral, with many praising her for empowering women and rejecting body shaming. But is it so simple? On the one hand, stripping down to her bra for millions to see seems to weaken her argument. On the other, does objectification happen because of what someone sees (i.e. how much skin) or how someone sees it? There’s much that could be said, but it’s clear that our teens need us to join this complicated conversation, so that they’re not just being mentored by their peers and so that we can help them seek God’s wisdom above all else. (C.S. Lewis’ thoughts on modesty or our Parent’s Guide to Modesty are good food for thought!)
3. Preparing for a School Closure
What it is: As more and more schools close their doors to prevent COVID-19’s spread, it’s a good time to make sure your kids will be properly protected while using their devices.
Why it’s timely: With so many teens stuck at home—or worse, inside in colder climates—for days or even weeks at a time, unable to see their friends or do their normal activities, they’ll turn to their devices to keep in touch and make sure they don’t miss what’s going on in their communities. All that extra device time only increases the chances of encountering harmful content or engaging in inappropriate behavior. But there are protections we can and should use! Thankfully, Protect Young Eyes recently reviewed 14 different monitoring and filtering options available to parents, comparing and contrasting all the features and options to help us figure out what’s right for our children. (Also, here’s a list of indoor activities that are mostly non-screen-based, if you need ideas!)
There will be no March Madness this year. The NCAA announced the tournament cancellation this week, citing concerns about COVID-19. Joining the NCAA, the NBA suspended their season after multiple players tested positive for the virus. Whether it’s movie theaters, schools, sports arenas, or even churches, governing authorities are moving closer to banning any large assembly of people due to growing concerns over the spread of this deadly bug.
If we’re honest, this is all pretty terrifying. With the growing media frenzy and heightened global awareness, it would be easy for all of us to live in fear. But God has not given us a “spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” In fact, the most frequent command in the Bible is “Do not be afraid.” Scripture seems to be giving us a hint that we’ll often have very good reasons to be afraid, but we must resist the tendency to allow our lives to be dominated by fear. We must do this not only because fear is debilitating, but because fear manipulates us into a life of isolation, cruelty, and hatred toward anything or anyone we see as threatening. As author Frederick Buechner reminds us, “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
As you navigate this global health crisis with your children, choose a spirit of love and not fear. Instead of suspicious self-preservation, choose servanthood. Find ways your family can care for those who are at the highest risk for infection. If you have an elderly neighbor or know someone with an autoimmune disease, ask them if you can run errands for them or help them stock up on groceries. Be wise. Be careful. Yes, definitely wash your hands, and then, go wash someone’s feet.
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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